Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Job Change

Despite enjoying my job immensely, I feel I've played it out. I've learned a lot and am itching to do more, expand my skills. After some poking, prodding and self-promotion, I've got a job change. In two weeks I start a new adventure. Adventure is the right word. I'll be back in the world of direct sales. I'll have a quota again, no longer riding on others' sales successes.

However, I'm terrified. Since graduating, I've had six jobs. This will be my seventh. Of those six jobs, three fall into the category of clear mistake. Bad fit or bad manager or just plain wrong. Were I more clever, I could mine those jobs to create a dilbert-esque sit-com or screen play.

Of the other three, two were blessings (this current job falling into that category) and one was mediocre. Mediocre is not the right word. It wasn't good; it wasn't bad. Instead it came with moments of bliss and success however that interspersed with times that are best likened to being blindfolded and left in a kitchen with knives, hot pans and pots fresh from the oven scattered about.

Logically, I'm confident I can do the job. I have the skills, the drive, the motivation. With new situations, one faces many things out of one's control. Who doesn't find it easier to hide within the known, the safe and the regular. Even if it is a shortcut to mind-numbing repetition and death, the familiar pulls at us. Resist!

Flowers on the Trees

Last time I checked, the calendar was still on February. However, living in California, the trees are on their own schedule. Out here in the country, the tress are getting a jump on spring. Instead of staying sticks, they have adorned themselves with boas of petals. Covering themselves in little white or pink flowers.
I just love seeing it. However, we've had a storm come through and I fear the rain has prevented the bees from doing their job. I also fear that a hard shower might cause a premature falling of the flowers.
So far, they've hung on. I just cannot stand when the trees decide they are ready to change into something more comfortable. They release their petals and then work on covering themselves in little, lime green buds of baby leaves. On the ground, like a discarded dress, the petals lie about waiting for a wind to take them on their way.
Just two months ago I thought, "this must be the prettiest time of the year with all the houses decked out in crazy lights." And then we have the blooming of the trees and I think, "this must be the prettiest time of year.". What will cause me to say, "this must be the best season!" six weeks from now?

Saturday, February 20, 2010


A couple weeks ago I watched the Colbert Report where Stephen visits and applies to join the Olympic Curling team. Watching him fumble and test the young men's patience, I just smiled. It ended with his remote controlled stone landing in the middle and him requesting to join the team. All the guys couldn't help but smile when saying, "No, sorry, Stephen, you can't be on our team."

And today, as I type this, the men's curling team is up against Sweden. Seeing their shining faces makes me smile again. Kudos to Stephen for making one more curling fan.

I do feel bad for my English guests, as they don't get to see their teams on TV. The coverage is almost exclusively of Americans with a token bit to the Canadians. Without a doubt the impression it leaves is skewed - it seems that it is the American Olympic games. Should we change the circles to just red, white & blue?

Friday, February 12, 2010


As I fed our three dogs this morning, I noticed how well they were doing. The three of them, the two boxers and little Tsunami, all anxiously sat on the edge of the carpet. The aren't allowed in the kitchen while I prepare the food, so they sit and occasionally put one paw, then another, onto the kitchen floor - as if I might not notice this time. I see the creep and scold them, they retreat. Tsunami jumped back, bumped into Austin. A year ago, Austin would have growled his annoyance, testily relocating himself. But today he sat there, stoic and let Tsunami do a lap around him.

Time has helped. The first month Tsui was in this house, Austin refused to share the couch with her. She'd jump up, he'd jump down. But now they will flank me, one on each side, looking for love. Austin and Zoe do share a tighter bond than either do with Tsunami, yet I'm hoping, in another few years, they'll be buddies.

We all adapt. Strange, new and fearful new situations eventually become familiar. I wish I could have shared that with a friend who recently passed. She lost her baby, tragically, to SIDS and then her grief overwhelmed her and she took her own life. I'm sure her husband and all of her friends wish the same thing - that if we could have held her. Like I wish I could have held my brother. Been there to soothe the fear, the sadness, the overwhelming anxiety - just to help them through that rough bit. Help them learn that it will subside. That the sun also rises. We adapt, not matter how painful, we keep on living. With each breath we're closer to finding peace after the storm.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Long Time No Post

This weekend we had a fantastic abundance of friends & family around. We held Warren's memorial yesterday. There were 11 speakers in all. My old coworkers were surprised that I didn't speak. I just couldn't think of anything to say. I had nothing to add.

Probably due to my selfish grieving. I mourn my loss. I mourn that I can't have him with me through the rest of my life. One family friend shared the story of seeing Warren at age 3 or so, approaching me, the baby. It was clear he was going to hit me for some reason. The family friend suggested to Warren that if he hits me, I'd scream & bite him back then our mom would come in and send us both to our rooms. I think that was Warren's first introduction to logic.

My relationship with him was so primal and selfish. He was there to harass. He was there to mock. Even with him being dead, I still tell mom how much better I am than he. It is a knee jerk reflex - I don't know how to exist without it. We were rivals. As a child I did try to minimize that - I did not try his areas of success such as science, band or computers. He was no good at sports, so I was off the hook there.

The grief has mixed completely with the confusion of his death. My logical, sane, sensible, thoughtful brother lost his mind. He spent his final weekend in a mental hospital. Did something happened in his brain? As far as we can tell his brain looked normal, yet I realize how crude our scientific understand of gray matter is. Maybe his PyMOL will illuminate the answers eventually. There is so much science that we still have to explore. His legacy, PyMOL will help us find the answers.

I know he is dead. I touched his head, patted his cold hands before they cremated him. I have a voicemail he left me. I can listen to his voice anytime I wish. But I don't need that. Having had him as my big brother, I feel like I hear his advice any time I please.

But there are things he hasn't yet weighed in on. I haven't heard his verdict on becoming an uncle. I can hear him telling me that crying over him won't help - it's just not logical. Yet I don't know what he thinks about Marc & my plans for starting our own family.

I don't feel like he's dead. I keep thinking he's right there. He's a phone call away. The memorial did force me to confront his death for 1.5 hours. We spoke about him, remembered him and looked at photos of him. Cried over him. Despite all that, I don't feel like he's dead. It is impossible. He wasn't supposed to die until we were in our 90's.

I hear it will sink in eventually.